Mystery author Mary Seifert loves puzzles of all kinds and can get lost for days trying to solve them. As a former math teacher, she ties numbers and logic to the mayhem game. When not writing or reading, she often pretends to cook. You can also find her nibbling chocolate and sipping wine, both of which sometimes occur WHILE writing and reading. Learn more about Mary and her books at her website.
I’ve written for as long as I can remember and love contriving puzzles. Taking a local history class, I discovered there could have been a county north of us, but circumstances dictated it merge with our county in the 1870s. There could have been a Columbia, Minnesota in Monongalia County, and that’s the location of my story. I can use all the landmarks near home. I solved a cryptic TSA tweet from May 2014, searching for individuals interested in solving puzzles, and Katie Wilk was born. Columbia is a small town with many connections.
Katie is an ex-cryptanalyst turned high school math teacher, trying to recreate herself after the tragic death of her husband. The dog thrust upon her, Maverick, is the embodiment of all the fabulous and heroic characteristics of the hospice therapy dogs I have been honored to work with as well as the comical and conniving antics (the food stealing, table topping, and unexpected barking) of my own Labrador retriever.
Katie’s landlady is an expert knitter with a skill I can only hope to aspire to. I love following patterns and watching them turn into lovely, artful pieces, whether it’s a Christmas stocking, a dishcloth (which I am proficient making), or putting together the pieces of a puzzle to help Katie solve a crime. The rhythmic clacking of the needles helps ground Katie. But it does seem that her forte is crafting a killer cocktail.
Each book includes a different kind of puzzle, for example: a cryptoquip, a Rubik’s cube, or musical cryptography, a geocache, a tidbit of Titanic history, a nod to the ingenious leading female cryptographers of WWI and WWII, a taste-tested cocktail recipe, and the beginning of a new relationship. I can’t wait for you to meet my cozy mystery family.
Maverick, Movies & Murder
A Katie and Maverick Cozy Mystery, Book 1
After losing everything, Katie Wilk is starting life over in Columbia, Minnesota, with a new career—giving up cryptanalysis in favor of teaching school—and a canine companion, Maverick, a black Labrador retriever. But on one of their first outings, Katie and Maverick discover a dead body in a nearby marshland. As the county coroner, Dr. Pete Erickson is one of the first on the scene; as the doctor that day in the ER, he’s the one who stitches up Katie’s head; as the son of the police chief, Pete is also in on the investigation.
Meanwhile, the locals are gearing up for the premiere of a new docudrama film called Titanic: One Story, which would be the cornerstone piece of a new Titanic exhibit, to open Labor Day weekend at the Midwest Minnesota History Center. The director selected their town as the location for some of the scenes, and many local residents are featured as extras in the movie. There will be a huge gala dinner and celebration for the grand opening. Tragedy strikes when the director dies suddenly, and suspects abound.
Katie finds herself in the middle of it all and doesn’t know anyone in town well enough to know who she can trust.